My Rating: 6/10 RENT IT
Colin Trevorrow’s long anticipated sequel to the 1993 classic, Jurassic Park, opened in theaters this weekend, promising fun action and the magic and awe which comes with the unveiling of nature’s most impressive and domineering creatures… Dinosaurs!!!
With the original film’s director, Steven Spielberg, on board as an Executive Producer and with superstar Chris Pratt leading the cast, this movie was sure to be a hit in the minds of the fans. While the numbers add up, unfortunately the quality does not.
Although Jurassic World produced the greatest opening in history, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed with the final product. I’m sorry, and I hate to say it, but the script for this movie was a complete and utter disaster. With horrible expository techniques, lazy and forced dialogue, and a convenient number of expendable characters, this might just be the least magical entry in the franchise’s history.
Now, I will not venture to say it is the WORST movie. 2001’s Jurassic Park 3 still maintains that title. I would place the overall quality of this movie on par with 1997’s The Lost World. What I mean when I say it is the least magical, I mean it is the least fun. With the first three we are introduced to a small band of characters all fighting for survival on an abandoned island while being hunted by nature’s greatest predator. Now while the new film follows some of these plotlines, it loses value in its overall character arc.
Sure we have the lovable Chris Pratt matched with the beautiful Bryce Dallas Howard. The two even have chemistry in the film, however the writers failed in fueling that fire. These wonderful actors, unfortunately, were faced with the task of carrying out this wretched screenplay, and I feel sorry for them.
In the original masterpiece we are gifted with the trio of compelling, charismatic doctors; Allan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and the rockstar Ian Malcom (perhaps the highlight of the film portrayed wonderfully by Jeff Goldblum). They are sincere, funny, lovable, and most importantly; constantly in danger.
One of the major issues in Hollywood blockbusters today is that there is never any risk for our heroes. They enter a sticky situation, but they are consistently calm and collective and get out of danger without a scratch. In our modern day monster films, such as 2014’s Godzilla, the Transformers series, or Pacific Rim, the writers include numerous expendable extras and underdeveloped side characters for the monsters to chow down on so that our hero never sees any real risk. Jurassic World is no exception.
Sure we have scenes of Pratt staring down the abominable Indominus Rex, however he is never in any real danger. The script allows the Indominus Rex to be stupid enough to allow Pratt and his other leading costars to escape with their lives, but smart enough to hunt and kill every other living thing on the Island.
There are very few memorable scenes in this film. Which is a shame because all three of its predecessors contain some of the most hauntingly memorable scenes in any given action or horror movie. Remember the original cast distracting the T-Rex with their flares, the porta potty death, the jeep falling out of the tree, and so many more. In The Lost World we have gems such as the scene with the trailer dangling over the cliff and the raptors sneaking through the tall grass… Even in Jurassic Park 3 we have the scene in the Pterodactyl bird cage, or the talking Raptor on the plane. (the latter is a joke, of course).
Jurassic World provides us with little more than a CGI induced monster romp with no concise direction and absolutely no character arc. If you like big dumb action movies, then go see this movie. Even I will admit, the visuals looked pretty nice on the big screen. But by no means should you expect anything more than a CGI crapfest. Just go see Mad Max: Fury Road again instead.